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Horvath M.,MME Birdlife Hungary | Demeter I.,MME Birdlife Hungary | Fater I.,MME Birdlife Hungary | Firmanszky G.,Aggtelek National Park Directorate | And 6 more authors.
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2011

The Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca Savigny 1809) reaches the western border of its range in the Carpathian Basin, which is the largest known population outside Russia and Kazakhstan. An increasing trend of this population in Hungary and also in the nearby areas of Slovakia has been reported since the 1980's, when the number of breeding pairs supposedly reached the historical minimum. In this study we evaluated the dynamics of the Hungarian Imperial Eagle population between 2001 and 2009. As a result of the continuous increase of the population the monitoring program revealed 105 nesting pairs by 2009. While an expansion of the breeding area towards lowland agricultural habitats was observed, the ratio of pairs inhabiting the historical mountainous breeding habitats decreased from 50 % to only 15 % during the study period. The frequency of the two- and three-chick broods in respect to single-chick broods increased in comparison to the 1980-2000 period showing a higher average annual productivity of the population (1.15 fledglings per nesting pair). Besides the favourable changes in population trend and productivity, the area expansion in the recently occupied lowland habitats also raised several new threats to the population, such as the increased number of illegal poisoning incidents and more frequent collisions with vehicles. Source

Lukacs Z.,University of West Hungary | Farkas R.,Aggtelek National Park Directorate | Fruhwirth A.,University of West Hungary | Gyuracz J.,University of West Hungary
North-Western Journal of Zoology | Year: 2015

The partial migration and autumn movement of the blue tits (Parus caeruleus) in Central Europe has hardly been studied in detail, yet. The aim of this study was to describe different aspects of the migration performance of the blue tits and to find out to what degree they differ at two geographically different stopover sites. Autumn migration dynamics, fat reserve, body mass and wing-length data of birds ringed from 2004 to 2013 at a western (Tömörd) and a north-eastern Hungarian (Szalonna) bird ringing station were compared. The blue tits has been a dominant songbird at both study areas, however, we found strikingly different migratory patterns of blue tits migrating through the two study sites. According to fluctuation indices (FI), the migration dynamics of the blue tits at Tömörd has been more similar to irruptive migrants, while its migration at Szalonna has been closer to the migration of obligatory migrants. The proportions of juveniles have been similar at Tömörd (88%) and Szalonna (87%), but there were significant differences in the reserves and stopover durations of birds between the two sites. More precisely, birds in Tömörd were in a better condition, since migration was more intensive in the second half of October, compared to the birds ringed at Szalonna. The intensive migration in 2004 and in 2008 at Tömörd could have been derived either from the reduced beech crop or the better success of blue tits' breeding in the Alps and Carpathians as well as in the Northern areas (Poland and the Baltic region). © NwjZ, Oradea, Romania, 2015. Source

Lengyel S.,Debrecen University | Varga K.,Debrecen University | Kosztyi B.,Debrecen University | Lontay L.,Aggtelek National Park Directorate | And 3 more authors.
Applied Vegetation Science | Year: 2012

Question: European landscapes have long been influenced by intensifying use by humans. Although habitat restoration can reverse this process, it is often limited in scope by socioeconomic constraints. Here we present a grassland restoration project that is exceptional in spatial scale in Europe. Location: A total area of 760 ha of arable land was restored in the Egyek-Pusztakócs unit (50 km 2) of Hortobágy National Park, east Hungary, between 2005 and 2008. Methods: Restoration targeted alkali steppes and loess grasslands by sowing seeds of either two (alkali) or three (loess) foundation grass species. In 2009, we surveyed the vegetation in restored and target grasslands and quantified the factors influencing restoration success in a space-for-time substitution design. Results: We recorded 100 species of flowering plants, of which 37 species were non-weed, 'target' species. Annual weeds dominated 1-yr-old fields but had decreased dramatically by the third year due to a developing perennial grass cover. Former alfalfa fields had proportionally fewer weeds than former cereal and sunflower fields. The diversity of common species and the cover of target species increased from 1- to 4-yr-old restored fields. Alkali-restored fields had more heterogeneous vegetation and more species than loess-restored fields. Distance to the target vegetation did not directly affect vegetation variables. There was significant spatial variability in vegetation development, possibly suggesting several local pathways of succession. Conclusions: Grassland restoration was generally successful in accelerating secondary succession towards alkali steppes and loess grasslands. However, further management is necessary to counter the homogenizing effects of litter accumulation, to reduce perennial weeds and to enhance the colonization of target species. Our project provides useful practical insights into grassland restoration and in applying restoration at a number of sites within a larger area to conserve biodiversity at the landscape scale. © 2012 International Association for Vegetation Science. Source

Vegvari Z.,Debrecen University | Juhasz E.,Debrecen University | Toth J.P.,Res Institute For Viticulture And Oenology | Barta Z.,Debrecen University | And 3 more authors.
Oikos | Year: 2015

Emergence phenology has been shown to advance considerably in the past decades in many lepidopterans. Noctuid moths (Noctuidae) constitute a species-rich family of lepidopterans with a large diversity of life history traits presumably driving climatic responsiveness. In our study we aim to assess the role of life-history and ecological traits in climatic responsiveness of noctuid moths, whilst controlling for phylogenetic dependence. We used a long-term dataset of European noctuid moths collected from a light-trap in northeastern Hungary. As the study site is located at the intersection of several biogeographical zones harbouring a large number of noctuid moth species, our dataset provides a unique possibility to investigate the moths' climatic sensitivity. To estimate the role of life-history traits and ecological factors in driving lepidopterans' response to climatic trends, we employed three proxies related to the species' ecology (habitat affinity, food plant specialization and food type) and two robust types of life-history traits (migration strategy and hibernation form). The degree of temporal shifts of various measures of emergence phenology was related to hibernation stage, food type and migration strategy. Large-scale phylogenetic relatedness exerted little constraint in all models fitted on each measure of phenology. Our results imply that noctuid moths overwintering as adults exhibited greater degrees of phenological shifts than species hibernating as larvae or pupae. It implies that moths hibernating as adults are forced to suspend activity in our climate and the prolongation of autumn activity might be the result of increased plasticity in flight periods. © 2014 The Authors. Source

Uhrin M.,University of P.J. Safarik | Uhrin M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Huttmeir U.,Austrian Coordination Center for Bat Conservation and Research | Kipson M.,Charles University | And 20 more authors.
Mammal Review | Year: 2016

Savi's pipistrelle Hypsugo savii is a Mediterranean faunal element among the bats; it occurs in southern Europe, the Canary Islands, north-western Africa, most of the Mediterranean islands, in the northern part of the Middle East, in the Crimea, Caucasus, West Turkestan, and northern Afghanistan. The northern margin of its geographical range in Europe reaches the Pyrenees, Massif Central, southern Alps, Dalmatia, Balkan Mountains and southern Crimea, like that of other similar biogeographical elements. Since the 1990s, Hypsugo savii started to be found in inland areas of south-eastern Europe and in Central Europe as far northwards as in central Bohemia and southern Poland. These numerous new occurrences seem to be either 1) connected to environmental changes caused by the current climate change 2) evidence of an intrinsic expansion process powered by the species' synanthropic tendency, including passive human-mediated transport; or 3) a reflection of the increase in field survey efforts. Distributional data on Hypsugo savii from central and south-eastern parts of Europe were gathered and evaluated. We provide a detailed review of all records available by the end of 2013. The assessment of temporal distribution of the data clearly shows an ongoing and relatively fast expansion of Hypsugo savii from southern to Central Europe, which represents a shift of almost 800km northwards in the last 20-25 years. Most of the records (65%) originate from urban habitats. This suggests that the synanthropic habits of the species are the most plausible explanation for the northwards shift of the range limits of Hypsugo savii. © 2016 The Mammal Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

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